Call for Session Proposals

How do you turn exciting moments of protest, theatre, or education into a movement for justice? 

From Moments to Movements: 
Solidarity, Collective Struggle, and Common Cause
WHEN: June 11-14, 2015 (with pre-conference workshops June 9-11)
WHERE: Chicago, IL, USA, a city with a rich history of activism and organizing
HOST: The Education Department at Columbia College Chicago
PTO Feature - PTO 2014 Doug TributeWHAT: A chance to LEARN, SHARE, QUESTION, and CONNECT through interactive techniques developed by Paulo Freire, Augusto Boal, and other people working to fight oppression and create justice. Learn more about Freire and Boal and their work at
WHO: YOU. Students, teachers, scholars, artists, activists, organizers. People of all ages, places, identities, experiences. If you want to build dialogue and make a more just world, you are invited, you are welcomed, and you are NEEDED.
WHY: From Ferguson to Gaza to Monrovia to Rio de Janeiro to anywhere else, oppressions call for us to turn moments into movements. In your schools, your homes, your workplaces, your communities, your nations, our world, there is too much to be done to act alone.


  • Apply to share your work and ideas with people from around the world.
  • Register to attend as a participant, whether you want to present or not.
  • If you’re local to Chicago, volunteer with us. Email to say you want to volunteer.


  • Check out the questions related to our theme below. Let the questions get your ideas flowing.
  • Read our list of session formats at the bottom of the page, and choose one that fits your work.
  • Submit a proposal by our deadline of January 9, 2014. Review of submissions dated on or before December 15th will begin immediately. Later submissions will be reviewed as quickly as possible after that.
You don’t have to answer all of these. They’re just meant to inspire.  
How can we use Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Theatre of the Oppressed, and other techniques to serve larger movements working to end oppressions?
What is solidarity? What are its challenges? What is the role of solidarity in activism?
Why are political struggles often remembered through heroes and other individuals? What can we learn from past and present collective struggles?
How do we work together across borders of geography, power, privilege, identity, or belief? 
How do we analyze connections between different forms of violence (physical, psychological, ecological, ideological, cultural, etc.)? 
What goals or movements should Pedagogy of the Oppressed or Theatre of the Oppressed never serve?
What is the place of hope and healing in collective struggle? How do we honor desires for hope and healing without discouraging anger that often fuels change?
How do we confront the reality that not all oppressions are equally severe or urgent? 
What happens when activists work as allies to end oppressions that they themselves do not face? 
Do we tend to fall so in love with our shared techniques that we forget our actual goals? If so, how do we get back to the goals?

 Again, submit proposals by Monday, December 15, 2014 at this link: submit proposals.
Yours in process,
Kelly Howe, Lead Organizer and Co-Chair
Carol Lloyd Rozansky, Co-Chair
—On behalf of the Chicago 2015 Conference Committee
Unless otherwise noted, all sessions are 90 minutes in length.
Anti-Oppression Dialogue: A session that offers specific, interactive training in some kind of anti-oppression work. Your dialogue could explore a) how language, power, and oppression are connected b) concerns of specific communities and populations, c) challenges and ethical questions, or d) any methods that relate to the goals of liberatory education or Theatre of the Oppressed. Inspired by Paulo Freire, we seek proposals that value learning through dialogue over learning through monologue. Request one or two 90-minute sessions.
Debate or Dialogue: Discussions or debates between activists, artists, organizers, and/or popular educators. Sessions may also ask attendees to participate in dialogue around specific concepts, techniques, or examples related to PO and/or TO work. All presenters must have agreed to participate and be part of the proposal. Request one or two 90-minute sessions.
Panel: A group of 3-4 presentations addressing a specific area of liberatory work. All presenters must have agreed to participate and be part of the proposal. In other words, you form the panel yourself, rather than PTO organizers connecting you. Sessions should include dialogue between the panelists themselves and with the other people who attend the panel. Request one or two 90-minute sessions.
Paper Presentation: Summary of research or issue in PO/TO work and theory, delivered from notes. Papers should not be read, but rather presented / summarized.  Each presentation should last approximately 10-12 minutes, not including time for discussion. We will cluster papers in groups of 3-4 with time for dialogue. 
Pedagogy of the Oppressed Workshop: Interactive workshops based strongly in Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed that explore techniques, methodologies, and projects of liberatory education. Workshops may explore specific PO, popular education, or arts-based educational techniques and philosophies as well as case studies and/or examples of liberatory education work in the world. Request one or two 90-minute sessions.
Performance: Staged plays, musical arrangements, comedy, dances, etc. that work for transformation, liberation, social justice, and/or political engagement. Request one or two 90-minute sessions
Theatre of the Oppressed Workshop, The Techniques: Interactive workshops based directly on the work of Augusto Boal that focus on exploring, explaining, and experiencing techniques of TO. Workshops may also present adaptations, expansions, and other different variations on TO. Request one or two 90-minute sessions.
Theatre of the Oppressed Workshop, The Work in the World: Interactive workshops that explore the many ways Theatre of the Oppressed can be used for social justice, transformation, and liberation. Rooted clearly in Augusto Boal’s TO work, workshops may also highlight connections to Pedagogy of the Oppressed, popular education, and other liberatory artistic and educational techniques. Request one or two 90-minute sessions.
Questions? Email